Despite putting two world records under his belt in seven days, world 800m holder and Africa champion David Rudisha will skip the Commonwealth Games due in Delhi next month, citing fatigue.
“I started my season early and was in shape, running 1:43 by February, and I maintained it until September. I believe I need time to rest and focus on next year,” said Rudisha, 21, from his base in Berlin.
“I have come to realise that, in this profession, you do not need to wait for your body to tell you when to stop but rather have the instict to stop when it is required.”
Athletics Kenya (AK) has since agreed to the request and settled on Abraham Kiplagat, second at the national trials, to fill the void.
AK secretary-general David Okeyo said Rudisha had a genuine concern and deserves to rest, having raced too fast twice within a short period.
“He has given it everything. He ran well and set two world records in seven days. It requires more to be in that form and maintain yourself at the top,” Okeyo said.
“To return stronger and sharp next season, he must not be running in too many races; we must protect him from burning out.”
Rudisha’s season will not be over until this weekend when he runs in the Africa team at the IAAF Continental Cup championship in Split City, Croatia. The Saturday and Sunday event has teams from Africa, Europe, Asia/Pacific and the Americas.
“I need to go away after Split, maybe for two months. Next year has the World Championship and then we have the Olympics. I want to be in top form for both events,” said Rudisha.
Kenya will have a 53-strong track and field squad at the Club Games and will be seeking to defend the 800m title won by Alex Kipchirchir in Melbourne, Australia, in 2006.
Richard Kiplagat and Boaz Lalang, second during Sunday’s meeting in Rieti, Italy, where Rudisha set a new world record of 1:41.01, will also compete in the two-lap race.
Meanwhile, only five athletes in Kenya’s Africa team departed from Nairobi for Croatia last night as the rest of the 14 team mates were already in Europe after the IAAF Diamond League.
They are Africa 3,000m steeplechase champion Richard Mateelong, Olympic 1,500m queen Nancy Jebet Lagat, Vincent Mutai (400m), Vincent Yator (5,000) and Priscilla Isiao (shot putt).